Barbarians - Round 2 is too soon for a lullaby Black Widow!


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I really like the concept of Mathmuse's Maintain Rage rolls. They are great thematicly!

I can rage longer easier with Reckless Rage the lower my AC is? cool! Balance it with bonusses so that I don't die instantly and ready is my loin cloth barb!

They would even be cool if each totem had a fixed type instead of making them a second choice.
Dragon totem might have to roll a Intimidate Check against Will Save DC, Spirit Totem an Occultism check... make then different.


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I think another question that might be worth exploring is "how often do you want to have to fight without rage?" If the answer is "never," then why is rage a separate conditional state and not just built into how the barbarian operates by default?

Personally, I don't like having to ration my rage rounds and decide if THIS is the combat I'm going to fly off the handle for. Having the rage end mid-combat seems like a better solution than rage rounds or rages per day.

I think we might be able to draw some inspiration from the Wounded condition though. Wounded creates a decision process for leaping back into the fray after going down, because you're then at greater risk of dying if you go down again. What's more barbarian than fighting on despite knowing your body is wrecked?

So, an idea: You may choose to end your rage at the start of your turn, at which point you are fatigued for X rounds. Rage lasts Y number of rounds without penalty, after which continuing to rage gives you the drained 1 condition. If you already have the drained condition, increase its value by 1 every round you keeping raging after Y. This is cumulative with any other drained values you may have.

X and Y can be adjusted to taste. We could use the current 3 rounds on 1 round off model, make Y your CON value, or various other things. You could even make ending your rage take an action, which would serve as a pseudo slowed 1 and represent your character having to struggle to get their emotion back in check. You could call it "regain senses."

Putting the onus for when to end the rage on the player let's them choose to keep raging when the odds are desperate, but at great risk to themselves. It also lets them choose when to "catch their breath," which can be helpful when an enemy tries to hide instead of fight for example. Drained is NASTY condition to wrack up, so I think players will be sufficiently wary of this.

This captures the idea that you are really pushing your body past its limits when you rage. Having no long term strain on your body from rage, just a temporary fatigue, doesn't really capture this.

Callin13 wrote:
Honestly having Rage be a "Concentrate" Ability where it eats one action a round isn't a horrible idea. Would need to tweak the numbers a bit but I think it could work. Maybe have you NOT come out of Fatigue the first time in a round you drop it, However if you do it again you do get Fatigued 1 like normal, just to keep people from Rage Hopping.

That feels like it would severely hamper the tactical capacity of the barbarian though, at least until Mighty Rage comes online at level 11 and then it isn't a penalty at all.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

I would prefer 2, but with the duration of rage increasing somehow as the barbarian gains levels. If we need this to be variable, then I would suggest a Fortitude save every round, with a DC that depends not on the barbarian's level, but on the number of rounds the rage has been lasting. This way, the higher level / higher Con barbarian has longer rages, but not infinite, and with a degree of risk.


Captain Morgan wrote:

I think another question that might be worth exploring is "how often do you want to have to fight without rage?" If the answer is "never," then why is rage a separate conditional state and not just built into how the barbarian operates by default?

Personally, I don't like having to ration my rage rounds and decide if THIS is the combat I'm going to fly off the handle for. Having the rage end mid-combat seems like a better solution than rage rounds or rages per day.

I know the historical Pathfinder 1st Edition answer to this question. Years ago, one of the Paizo developers, I forgot who, explained the design philosophy of martial character classes. The fighter is supposed to be the best at combat, overall. The other classes get better than the fighter in their areas of specialty: the ranger is better against his Favored Enemy, the paladin is better when smiting evil, the magus is better when spellstriking, and the barbarian is better when raging. Of course, if the barbarian could rage without limit, then that class would be better than fighter, which would ruin the fighter's theme.

I have also noticed that barbarian is one of the most fantastical PF1 martial classes, because rage powers are allowed to break the rules of mundane reality. In the PF2 playtest, we still see that fantasy, where barbarians can rage into animals or dragons. Due to the long D&D/Pathfinder tradition of magic as a limited resource, if the barbarian could rage without limit, then his rage powers would have to revert to mundane. That would be less fun.

But the Pathfinder 2nd Edition designers are breaking the tradition of magic as a daily resource. They are more flexible in their limits now. Cantrip spells, which were more flavorful than practical in PF1, are now worth using during combat. And the barbarian's rage no longer has a daily limit; instead, it is bounded by a short-term limit on consecutive rounds.

But let's look directly at Captain Morgan's question, ""How often do you want to have to fight without rage?" In my Iron Gods campaign, the players recruited NPC Val Baine as a party member, and I made her a gunslinging bloodrager. Rage did not help with her shooting, so she performed her ranged attacks without rage. She fought like a Caribbean pirate, shooting once and then raging and rushing in with her cutlass. I liked the flavor of a style that mixed rage and non-rage.

Three rounds of rage to one round of fatigue has a balance to it that unlimted rage does not. And balance lets me perform mathematics. Fatigue cripples a character by about 25% in encounter mode. It's worse in exploration mode but that does not matter for rage. So each of the three rounds of rage should be about 8% better than typical martial-character rounds to balance. In contrast, unlimited rage would be balanced against the other martial classes, excluding the fighter class which is supposed to be the best. Thus, an unlimited rage barbarian would fight as well as a ranger or paladin while raging, with more emphasis on damage and less emphasis on defense. Unlimited rage would be as boring as Hunt Target. (I have hopes that Hunt Target can be revisited as a good exploration ability for tracking and deduction, but that's another subject.)

I agree with Captain Morgan that rage ending in mid-combat is better than rationing rounds of rage. A barbarian would be fun as a character who bursts into a strong offense to break the opponent before the barbarian fatigues into defense. But if the barbarian did not fatigue while combat was still ongoing, that dramatic style would be meaningless. My Maintain Rage action is partly a trap, to cripple the ranger by removing a action each turn rather than by fatigue, in case the timing for fatigue would be poor drama.


It seems there are quite a few votes for a shorter but more powerful Rage. If Paizo decides to go this route, my feedback is that the current Rage is both too short and too weak, especially at higher levels.

Too short: Combat at mid-high levels, especially difficult boss fights, tend to last 8+ rounds. I've played through these fights in Affair in Sombrefell Hall, Mirrored Moon and Heroes of Undarin. I've seen encounters last longer than a single Haste spell a few times. Having the Barb spend 25% of the fights fatigued is a bit much.

Please increase the duration of Rage, even if you decide to change it according to the "shorter, but more powerful" guidelines. Start at 3 rounds, but increase the duration as the Barb levels, and perhaps even remove the duration altogether at level 20.

Not powerful enough: +2-7 conditional bonus to damage is not enough to give Barbs the "wow" factor needed while raging. The defensive bonuses are also shoddy (not enough temp hp / DR) right now. I'd like to see both offense and defense boosted, so the Barb feels unstoppable while raging.

SUGGESTION for damage: Instead of a flat bonus to damage, consider adding exploding dice to the Barb's damage (dice that you get to reroll if you get the max value on a roll). That way, you get both power and unreliability.

The progression for damage dice can be 1d4 -> 2d4 -> 3d4 -> 3d6 -> 3d8->3d10. The average damage for exploding dices are:

d4: 3.38
d6: 4.2
d8: 5.14
d10: 6.11

Which would give you an average damage increase of:
3.38 -> 6.76 -> 10.14 -> 12.6 -> 15.42 -> 18.33

With the potential for even greater burst damage.


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NielsenE wrote:
I'd also like a hybrid -- generally 3, but some "tiring moves" you can use for massive effect that auto end the rage.

This is the best idea IMO.

Let the barbarian rage freely, and give him some finishers (a basic one depending on their totem, and some optional as feats): a very powerful action that ends the rage for a while (with or without fatigue).


Here's my minority opinion:

As powerful a rage as possible, extremely random, and an equally debilitating penalty when fatigued.

I'd probably prefer a Con check to a flat check but I guess ability check's don't exist anymore for some reason . . . ?


#3 with powerful moves that can end rage early. Involve con in the max duration I think. Make the temp hit points and resetting rage ending actions a meaningful decision between continuing a rage or taking a round of fatigue. Make rage scale up to bigger damage bonuses.

Also I don't think barbarians should get to master with weapons. That speaks to training which is not their thing. They should get those bonuses and the numbers they need in other ways.

Rage definitely should stack with more things.

Raaaggggeeeeeee!


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Wolfism wrote:

Also I don't think barbarians should get to master with weapons. That speaks to training which is not their thing. They should get those bonuses and the numbers they need in other ways.

Rage definitely should stack with more things.

Raaaggggeeeeeee!

Pathfinder 2nd Edition dropped temporary ability score bonuses, such as the +4 enhancement bonus to Strength from Bull's Strength and the +4 morale bonus to Strength from Rage. However, it mimics a temporary Strength penalty with the enfeebled condition.

Enfeebled
You’re physically weakened. Enfeebled always includes a
value. When you are enfeebled, you take a conditional
penalty equal to the enfeebled value on attack rolls,
damage rolls, and Strength-based checks.

Likewise, sluggish condition mimics a temporary penalty to Dexterity, drained condition mimics a temporary penalty to Constitution, and stupified condition groups combined temporary Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma penalties.

What if we created similar conditions that mimic the temporary bonuses to such ability scores? For example:

Empowered
You’re physically strengthened. Empowered always includes
a value. When you are empowered, you gain a conditional
bonus equal to the empowered value on attack rolls,
damage rolls, and Strength-based checks.

Then we could say that Rage grants the barbarian empowered 2, for a +2 bonus to hit and a +2 bonus to damage and +2 to Athletics checks. That would satisfy my wife's request for the return of the Strength bonus, and the barbarian would have a bonus to hit that does not require giving the barbarian master proficiency. The bonus is still a conditional bonus, so it would not stack much.

Scarab Sages

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

Personally I would like to see a variation of 1:

1 action; Rage
Barbarian, Concentrate, Emotion, Mental
Requirements: You are not fatigued, raging, or wearing heavy armor.
You begin raging. You gain a number of temporary Hit Points equal to your level plus your Constitution modifier and enter a state of pure rage that lasts until the end of your next turn. While you are raging, you are affected in these ways:
*Gain a +2 conditional bonus to damage rolls with melee weapons, thrown weapons, and unarmed strikes. This bonus is halved if your weapon or unarmed Strike is agile. This bonus increases by 1 at level 3 and every 4 levels thereafter.
*Take a -1 penalty to AC.
*You can't use actions that have the concentrate trait unless they also have the rage trait. The Seek basic action gains the rage trait while you're raging.
After you have stopped raging, you lose any remaining temporary Hit Points from using the Rage action, and you are fatigued for 1 round for every 2 rounds you were raging. You can't voluntarily stop raging.

Free action; Feed Rage
Barbarian, Concentrate, Emotion, Mental
Requirements: You are not fatigued, fleeing, frightened, (possibly stupified?) or wearing heavy armor.
You fuel the rage burning within you. Your rage becomes extended until the end of your next turn.

This would keep the bonuses where they are at, make it possible to rage the whole fight. and remove the awkwardness of transmutation rages shifting back a forth every few rounds. It would also add a new dynamic to combats involving barbarians, which I see as a plus.


I'm more for option 3, but replace reduced accuracy/defence with a high cost for staying rage over longer periods of time. Constant persistent damage that can only be removed when not in rage, slowly increasing penalties to saves and AC. that sort of thing.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

It would take some work to get the benefits to be powerful enough, but I'd kind of like to see rage be unlimited but something that costs an action to activate/keep activated. This would make it similar to bardic compositions.

The challenge would be to make it strong enough that it's worth spending an action on the maintain. Just spitballing, but maybe granting an additional damage die instead of a bonus might work. At the very least, that would bring it close to Power Attack in terms of power.

If Focus Points remain a thing, maybe barbarians could spend Focus to continue raging without the action cost, a la a bard's lingering compositions.

This is all spitballing with minimal thought as to how it might affect game balance, but I do think the game's action economy is a strength and I quite like powers that interact with it.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wouldn't mind seeing Rage Feats that modify Rage, such as you can do more damage but you start taking damage every round from overstressing yourself.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Speaking of HP, an issue I just realized with the unlimited Rage option is that you wouldn't get the constantly refreshing pool of Temporary HP during the fight that you get now in the current versions.


Rysky wrote:
Speaking of HP, an issue I just realized with the unlimited Rage option is that you wouldn't get the constantly refreshing pool of Temporary HP during the fight that you get now in the current versions.

It ends up being much more offensive (despite lesser bonuses) due to not having a dead round every 3 active rounds though.

So that can add another layer of customization though.


Well with it being Concentration you can always drop it, gain fatigued 1 for a round, and then start it AGAIN and regain the Temp HP. I honestly really like this idea. That way you can play it the way you need to. Also gives you a different use of your 3rd action other than I just attack a 3rd time. Still fairly boring but, you can still do 1 Activity as well. Maybe tac on a rider to the Concentration ability? Some additional add on to make it more fun? I dunno. Spitballing is a thing and I enjoy shooting em.

OH I Got it. Maybe a Straight Check DC 10 to add on an additional +1 to damage or additional temp HP. With the DC increasing by 5. Its a choice so you DONT have to roll. You can though. If you fail you cant roll anymore and you can drop rage to reset the DC.

This does take it more into the realm of a Stance instead of the Mindless Raging Beatstick but maybe its time to actually get away from that trope?


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Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Personally, some variability to rages seems to make sense to me. Rages being precisely controlled and timed seems counter-intuitive to me. Only question in my mind being how translating that into the game will help make the game, ideally, more fun.

In general I like the concept of the rage becoming harder to maintain. I understand the simplicity of the flat checks, but with that simplicity, it seems obvious that tons of people missed the point that you don't roll after the first round, and making that mistake creates a significant nerf on the rage ability, and that is very worthwhile to note how easy it is misinterpreted.

Maybe make rage I could see having to make a single flat check after the first round, if no attack was made, or rage power used, or potentially if all temporary hit points have been expended (use highest applicable DC). No temporary hit points remaining (DC5 flat check) No attack or rage ability actively in use (DC10).

Or here are some concepts we could apply:
After entering a rage, you never roll the round you enter the rage.
Allow any fresh barbarian to rage and be able to maintain the first three rounds without any roll.
If a barbarian has raged 3 rounds in a row, they must make a flat roll to extend the rage an additional round. The DC = 20 minus their CON bonus.
If a barbarian has entered a rage again after having been fatigued, on their second round they make a flat roll = the number of rounds they have been raging since their last refocus. [10 min activity between encounters] This number never exceeds the maximum DC of 20 minus their CON bonus.

If a barbarian ever rolls a 1 on a flat check, they become fatigued 2.

The barbarian would spend 10 minutes out of combat to refresh their spirit and be back and ready to complete a full and expected rage cycle, as well as resetting number of rage rounds to zero, so subsequent low DC checks would be reset.

This would require keeping track of number of rage rounds since last refocus which is one matter of bookkeeping that some people consider to be horrible. Personally, I think its fine to keep track of rounds, especially if it typically only needs to be kept one encounter at a time. If you don't like counting the number of rage rounds itself, finding it too limiting for long battles, you could instead only count the rage rolls. So each time you would make a roll, it increments the flat roll DC (not unlike the original resonance overspend, not meaning to invoke an otherwise unloved mechanic).

Thus, if a barbarian started fresh in an encounter, and managed to succeed in maintaining a rage for 4 rounds, then becomes fatigued the fifth round. On the sixth round they start another rage, and need not roll to continue it to the second round. To continue on further, they need to make a flat roll (DC 6 due to 4 rounds from last rage, and 2 rounds from this rage). After they succeed, after their third round, they would need to make the higher DC caused by passing the 3 rounds threshold meaning it would be a DC16 for a barbarian with a 18 CON (+4). Assuming they succeed at that, they could go another round and another using the higher DC checks. Assuming they managed to rage for 5 rounds this time by being lucky. The battle continues and they enter rage again on the now 12th round of combat. At this point, they don't need to make a roll, but after round 13 (second round of this rage cycle) they have to make a Flat roll of 11 (4+5+2 for rounds raging since last refocus) to continue the rage. They roll a 1, and instead of continuing, they find they are hit by Fatigued 2. Opse... pushed it a little far.

This means high constitution barbarians might be able to successfully push the envelope by several rounds with significant luck. But the more they push their luck, the more likely they get hit by an unexpected or stronger fatigue.

If there is concern that barbarians would rage too long that way, make the effect of rolling a 1 result in a fatigued n where n is a minimum of 2 but equaled to the number of rounds above 3 which the barbarian raged. Or you could have any flat result lower than the number of rounds raged in that cycle result in the Fatigued 2 condition. So if someone had already raged 5 rounds, any roll of 5 or less on the flat check would cause the barbarian to be Fatigued 2
instead of continuing the rage.

With the concern over almost anime-seeming transformation back and forth while going through Rage cycles... What if some rage abilities had Rage Transformation trait instead of (or in addition to the Rage trait)

Rage Transformation effects would continue their impact to include both during their active rage, as well as during the fatigue round imparted by the rage. This would mean that a barbarian might still be able to use a transformed weapon between rounds, might be able to use certain other abilities. Certain rage transformations might have limited or reduced effect during the fatigued round. [for instance wings might only allow 'gliding/controlled decent' not full flying during the fatigue round] Or just by default, would include the fatigue round in the scope of the rage rounds. Some rage powers could simply include they can't be used while fatigued.


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What if we took a radical approach and DIDN'T slap penalties and conditional checks on the class for simply wanting to use their primary class feature?

You know, the same way that a Bard can Inspire Courage over and over without worrying about their throat getting dry and the Wizard can cast spells all day long and never suffer for it?


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Ninja in the Rye wrote:

What if we took a radical approach and DIDN'T slap penalties and conditional checks on the class for simply wanting to use their primary class feature?

You know, the same way that a Bard can Inspire Courage over and over without worrying about their throat getting dry and the Wizard can cast spells all day long and never suffer for it?

That is not the Pathfinder 1st Edition way, which put did limit how long a bard could sing Inspire Courage during a day. Nevertheless, Ninja in the Rye is right. Pathfinder 2nd Edition is supposed to be better.

But how can we do it in a balanced way that makes barbarian different from fighter?

Unlimited rage would not feel like rage. We need a method of alternating rage and non-rage. Throwing in fatigue is optional.

1) A simple method would be that when the barbarian rages, he rolls 1d4 for the duration of the rage in rounds. When the rage ends, he cannot rage during the following two rounds. That is not a penalty nor a conditional check, that is using a primary class feature that has variable results. I favor allowing the rage as a free action, to pack as much as possible in the first round if the duration is only one round.

2) Next, a secondary class feature could return some of traditional penalties of rage. For example, imagine that the barbarian could try to rage again during the mandatory post-rage period, but it requires a Fortitude check based on how long he has already raged, DC 5*(rounds of rage). A success lets him rage for another 1d4 rounds. A failure gives him one round of fatigue. A critical success could give 2d4 rounds of rage, or super-rage with better bonuses. A critical failure could give him 2 rounds of fatigue.

3) Barbarian feats or totems or furies could change the duration to 1d6 or the Resume Rage DC to 4*(rounds of rage) or allow the roll for the first rage for possible critical success or renew the temporary hit points on the Resume Rage, because some players like variety.

Anyone have other ideas? I like the notion of Pathfinder 2nd Edition not punishing characters for using primary class features.


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It would help if the Barbarian had something else going on for it, beyond just rage. I mean, a bard still has spellcasting when not using their performances. Even the ranger, as wretched as it is in PF2 atm, can alternate between their own hunted attacks and using either an animal or *snort laughs* the awesome-in-theory terrible-in-execution snares. If the barbarian gets a second schtick, a lesser but still important thing it can do, then it gets more depth and doesn't have to rely entirely on rage at all times in all combats.

I recommend maybe looking to the 4E Warden for some ideas here.

Also this goes for all classes, every class should have a couple things it's good at and can lean on. The alchemist in its 1.6 iteration should actually be getting at least two or three fields of study, since they're narrower and less good than the broader paths of something like the druid, broken into many more smaller categories. The monk should be getting something for free to help it distinguish beyond just dance up and hit, maybe a choice between getting ki for free or getting extra fighting styles for free. The fighter could get a choice between enhancing either proactive tactical abilities or reactive being great at AoO/tanking in addition to just moving up and using different moves to hit. Etc.


I think I prefer rage being short and powerful and I like the ideal of a variable duration to rage then a set every 3 rounds. I do agree with the idea of adding con to the check however.


I'm all about choices myself, so I would like something that always allows another round of rage, but doesn't make the choice one sided. Maybe something like a constant benefit but growing cost.
So something like +X to dmg/str/whatever, and an AC penalty equal to the rounds raged. And instead of fatigue the penalty goes down for each round, giving a meaningful lasting cost. I could imagine a feat that gives a 1 action to keep penalty as is for the round.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

4. Set duration, more power.


If you want random chance and easy math i would go on the lines of:

At the start of your rage the DM secretly rolls 1d4+1 to see how many rounds you rage.

since you dont control the rage and you dont know when its gonna end to not penalize the players further I would remove the minus to AC you get from raging.

((For a more curve bell chance it could be roll 3d4 and choose the mid result but then it gets complicated again))


I as a DM don't want to have to keep track of my players rage.


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I as a DM don't want to have to keep track of my players rage.

Then delegate it to the player in question. If you're not worried about them abusing it, it is a perfectly good plan. Is that not what you are doing for the spellcasters, or do you not care to keep track of their primary class abilities either? Or if you do, why is a barbarian not worth your attention, but a spellcaster is?


Loreguard wrote:
Vidmaster7 wrote:
I as a DM don't want to have to keep track of my players rage.
Then delegate it to the player in question. If you're not worried about them abusing it, it is a perfectly good plan. Is that not what you are doing for the spellcasters, or do you not care to keep track of their primary class abilities either? Or if you do, why is a barbarian not worth your attention, but a spellcaster is?

ArchangelAzrael specified a secret GM roll. A player can't roll a secret GM roll for themselves. That's why it is worth the GM's attention over spellcaster abilities which the spellcaster has total knowledge about the status of.

Seriously, this isn't hard to figure out.


The secret roll was to keep the element of uncertainty for the player, that the current system has by making checks every round and not knowing when you will fail (more or less).

I do agree that it can be a hustle for the DM as he has to be responsible for a lot of things and having one more is annoying although unless your party has more than one barbarian I don't think its a deal breaker.

The barbarian could roll the dice instead but then he would know exactly when he would drop out of rage and he could use that knowledge to strategise accordingly. Not necessary a bad thing just not what the new rage mechanics allow for.

EDIT: I have seen DMs that keep everything in check and note down how many spells you have casted as well as what spells you have prepared for the day and I have seen some that don't and are like " I trust you man, go do your thing while I figure out what the enemies do". As a player I never cheat as I find it boring (the chance of failure, or not having the right spell makes the wins matter more) but I cant say that all player are like that. So if you are a DM that checks everything having one more thing to keep track of cant be harder than keeping up with the caster now (and with how many Hp everyone has, how many potions etc).


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

@Snowblind:
He didn't reference ArchangelAzrael's post in his post, so I missed that he was talking about that one post's GM roll.

@Vidmaster7:
Looking back further I see you indicated you are in favor of some variability and therefore presumably not against any form of tracking of rage, so I could have added that all that if my memory of who had posted what had been better. I apologize for my I misinterpretation of the response as being more general than it seems it was intended.


More rolling and tracking is the last thing this game needs.


First 2 combats of the Night with me Raging and I roll a 2 twice. So 2 rounds of Rage. That was some BS right there. The exact reason I dont like the variable Rage thing. I know my rolls haha


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

Option 3 probably, but I'd really rather not have it give a penalty to accuracy because that would reduce the barbarians chance of getting a critical hit, which feels bad. Of the three, I feel option 2 is my least favourite because of how awkward it feels to enter fatigue during combat.

On the subject of fatigue, basically losing a turn to catch your breath and avoid huge AC/save penalties every few rounds is a really high cost for an ability with a built-in downside of a lowered AC. Maybe the rage should simply last the whole fight or until you're knocked out like a stance, except that it left you fatigued afterwards for a minute. Or maybe the barbarian should just be slowed for a round so they can still do something with the rounds where they come out of rage and not feel like they're asking to be killed by failing important saves or being crit.


Loreguard wrote:

@Snowblind:

He didn't reference ArchangelAzrael's post in his post, so I missed that he was talking about that one post's GM roll.

@Vidmaster7:
Looking back further I see you indicated you are in favor of some variability and therefore presumably not against any form of tracking of rage, so I could have added that all that if my memory of who had posted what had been better. I apologize for my I misinterpretation of the response as being more general than it seems it was intended.

Uh thanks I guess everything was figured out so cool cool.


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Mathmuse wrote:
the barbarian is better when raging. Of course, if the barbarian could rage without limit, then that class would be better than fighter, which would ruin the fighter's theme.

My experience from PF1 is that barbarians rarely run out of rage rounds, and never do so past level 8 or so. Which was a problem, as they were clearly overpowered when this was true.

Now for something entirely different.

1.6 Barbarian Rage wrote:
When your rage ends for any reason, you lose any remaining temporary Hit Points from using the Rage action, you can’t use Rage again for 1 round, and you’re fatigued for 1 round. You can’t voluntarily stop raging while you’re in combat, but if you’re not in combat, you can voluntarily end your rage by spending an action; this action has the concentrate and rage traits.
Playtest Rulebook p 304 wrote:

Step 1: Start Your Turn

...
If you created an effect that lasts for a certain number of rounds, you reduce the number of rounds remaining. The effect ends if the duration has expired. For example, if you cast a spell on yourself that lasts 3 rounds on your first turn of a fight, it would affect you during that turn, decrease to 2 rounds of duration at the start of your second turn, decrease to 1 round of duration at the start of your third turn, and expire at the start of your fourth turn.
Playtest Rulebook p 322 wrote:

Fatigued

You’re tired, and expending energy makes you worse off. You’re hampered 5 (see page 323). You take a –1 conditional penalty to AC and saving throws; each action you use during an encounter increases the penalty by 1 until the start of your next turn. For example, if you use 1 Stride action and 2 Strike actions on your turn, the conditional penalty would increase by 3 to a –4 penalty, which would reset to –1 at the start of your next turn. The penalty increases after each action you spend, so if you triggered an attack as a reaction to the first action you used, you’d take a –2 conditional penalty to AC against that attack...

If I read this right, the fatigue (and possibly also the no-rage prohibition) is "an effect created by you" and thus ends at the START of your turn. The raging/fatigue process is this:

* Your turn ends while raging, and you fail the flat check to maintain your rage.
* Rage ends, you become fatigued. You suffer a -1 fatigue penalty as you have not taken any actions while fatigued.
* You are fatigued until the beginning of your next turn, suffering the -1 fatigue penalty all the way, reducing your defenses.
* Your next round begins. Fatigue ends.
* You do not suffer any fatigue penalties on your action or on the following rage-less round. You likely still cannot rage again, even if that could also be seen as an effect you create that would thus end at the start of your next turn.

I wonder if this is RAI, or if I somehow read it wrong. Read this way, rage fatigue penalties are not very severe at all, and the current rage rules are actually pretty balanced. The penalty is nowhere as severe as I thought.

An alternate reading, the one I thought would apply before reading up on this in the playtest book, is this: "you can’t use Rage again for 1 round, and you’re fatigued for 1 round" means that the effect lasts until the end of your next turn, which would be EXACTLY one round. Then you WOULD take fatigue penalties on your actions on your next turn, but you would NOT suffer these action-based penalties after your post-rage turn ended. This is less RAW as it doesn't follow the general turn sequence, but makes for a somewhat more reasonable result if the post-rage fatigue is supposed to be a serious handicap. But, either way, you NEVER suffer more than a -1 penalty to your defenses outside of your own turn. Well, you might if reactions are involved, but that's a corner case. In general, you don't.


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Starfox wrote:
Mathmuse wrote:
the barbarian is better when raging. Of course, if the barbarian could rage without limit, then that class would be better than fighter, which would ruin the fighter's theme.
My experience from PF1 is that barbarians rarely run out of rage rounds, and never do so past level 8 or so. Which was a problem, as they were clearly overpowered when this was true.

My 13th-level Con 20 barbarian Muffin in PF1 once ran out of rage. She had 7 rounds of rage left at the start of the 2nd attack on our overnight camp after a full day of adventuring. She was the only character who could hit the enemy short of a nat 20 and only while raging, so she would rage for one round for one hit, the enemy would turn invisible again (at will ability), and she would drop to fatigue for two rounds.

That was a very strange fight, because, as Starfox said, being that short on rage is rare.

Starfox wrote:

Now for something entirely different.

1.6 Barbarian Rage wrote:
When your rage ends for any reason, you lose any remaining temporary Hit Points from using the Rage action, you can’t use Rage again for 1 round, and you’re fatigued for 1 round. You can’t voluntarily stop raging while you’re in combat, but if you’re not in combat, you can voluntarily end your rage by spending an action; this action has the concentrate and rage traits.

...

* Your turn ends while raging, and you fail the flat check to maintain your rage.
* Rage ends, you become fatigued. You suffer a -1 fatigue penalty as you have not taken any actions while fatigued.
* You are fatigued until the beginning of your next turn, suffering the -1 fatigue penalty all the way, reducing your defenses.
* Your next round begins. Fatigue ends.
* You do not suffer any fatigue penalties on your action or on the following rage-less round. You likely still cannot rage again, even if that could also be seen as an effect you create that would thus end at the start of your next turn.

I wonder if this is RAI, or if I somehow read it wrong. Read this way, rage fatigue penalties are not very severe at all, and the current rage rules are actually pretty balanced. The penalty is nowhere as severe as I thought.

Starfox interpreted the interaction between the end of rage check at end of turn and the timing of fatigue correctly. The thread Barbarian Rage Fatigue Questions discusses this issue.


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All I really know is the new iteration of the rules really just encourage me to recreate my characters as fighters instead of barbarians.

And that just sucks.

The barbarian was arguably already worse than the fighter, even with the way rage previously worked. Now you might as well not even bother.


Claxon wrote:

All I really know is the new iteration of the rules really just encourage me to recreate my characters as fighters instead of barbarians.

And that just sucks.

The barbarian was arguably already worse than the fighter, even with the way rage previously worked. Now you might as well not even bother.

Why the strong reaction to a small change? Is it because it weakens a weak ability that is supposed to be the primary class feature of the barbarian?

Before Update 1.6 my wife was disappointed that PF2 rage did not help much in combat because it did not increase the chance to hit. And she was happy that she could make good use of Raging Athlete, so her feelings balanced out. The randomness will make Raging Athlete a little more dangerous. For example, a swimming barbarian could running short on rage while crossing a river. But no-one is going to drown in one round of fatigue.

The Paizo developers added a minimal amount of randomness to the rage duration, not enough to seriously affect combat. The new rage system gives only a 20% chance of a 2-round rage and an 80% chance of 3 or more rounds of rage. The average length of raging goes up to 3.4 rounds. And a possible error in duration timings nullifies most of the post-rage fatigue.


Mathmuse wrote:
Claxon wrote:

All I really know is the new iteration of the rules really just encourage me to recreate my characters as fighters instead of barbarians.

And that just sucks.

The barbarian was arguably already worse than the fighter, even with the way rage previously worked. Now you might as well not even bother.

Why the strong reaction to a small change? Is it because it weakens a weak ability that is supposed to be the primary class feature of the barbarian?

Before Update 1.6 my wife was disappointed that PF2 rage did not help much in combat because it did not increase the chance to hit. And she was happy that she could make good use of Raging Athlete, so her feelings balanced out. The randomness will make Raging Athlete a little more dangerous. For example, a swimming barbarian could running short on rage while crossing a river. But no-one is going to drown in one round of fatigue.

The Paizo developers added a minimal amount of randomness to the rage duration, not enough to seriously affect combat. The new rage system gives only a 20% chance of a 2-round rage and an 80% chance of 3 or more rounds of rage. The average length of raging goes up to 3.4 rounds. And a possible error in duration timings nullifies most of the post-rage fatigue.

Basically. It's supposed to be a core defining feature of the class, and this change makes it completely unpredictable for players.

The barbarian was tied for my favorite class in PF1 (with the Inquisitor). And now....it's just crap with this sort of change. The class already felt lackluster compared to the fighter, rage just didn't do enough to bring it on par. The damage bonuses just don't feel like enough.

And for what it's worth, I as player hate randomness. I understand that it's a part of the game, otherwise the conclusion is forgone, but I also played PF1 in a way that eliminated as much randomness as I could. PF2 feels more and more like its forcing randomness upon me, to the point that success is little more than coin flip in terms of success and that's excessively frustrating to me.

Overall I'm dissatisfied with PF2's course, and this is a special sore spot for me since the barbarian is a favorite for me.


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

2 is my vote.


I’ve not played a barbarian in the play test myself, though I have read up on them as Ill be making one after my paladin. so take this with a grain of salt.

I’m a fan of rage #2. Go big or go home, that how I think of barbarians. Will you get 2 round rages? Yes, but not often. But sometimes you’ll get 4 plus rounds. Will it cut out at an inoportune moment, yes, That’s the risk that comes with a high risk high reward class. That said basic rage probably needs a buff.

I like the idea of some class feats that interact with rage length. Something that decreases the scaling of the flat check from 5 to 4 but makes it 2 rounds of fatigue or adds an additional condition (slowed maybe). Maybe something that synergizes well with the rage powers that add climb, swim, and fly speed. Increase the hampered penalty but allow the travel speed to be maintained one round after rage (allowing it to last through the fatigue)

Someone compared barbarian rage to starfinders solarion atunment. That might be a completely different path to take but it sounds awesome. On your third round of rage you can use a big finisher move but that is followed by the round of fatigue.

Silver Crusade

I am not a fan of the 1.6 rage option, it added yet another check at the end of a turn, which just slows down gameplay.

It really is just too unreliable for my taste especially for situations where you want to plan ahead, I am really not a fan of this new rage.

Personally, I would like to see a rage (not unlike the Solarian in Starfinder) where you get angry for a turn or two with minor benefits and then unleash your anger in a pretty strong attack that leaves you temporarily weaker (since you overtaxes your muscles, or yelled really hard).
This way you would not even have to limit rage with a duration, players would have the choice to either stay in the rage for modest benefits or suffer the risk of being vulnerable for a turn, but also having the chance to do more of those strong attacks.

Edit: Honestly this might not be to different from Video Games like Diablo where you have to generate a resource (rage?) by doing basic attacks to unleash your rage with something cool when needed/fun.

Personally, that gameplay loop seems fun, looking at the current version even going into the rage is not too impressive considering that it takes an action and has downsides.

Even looking at the temporary hitpoints, their scaling is anything but impressive to be honest.


It doesn't slow down game play that much. (If done smartly it won't affect the time at all) After the barbarian attacks he can make the roll while other players are going because it won't affect him until his turn comes up again (or if he is attacked possibly.)

Also its really a buff because it actually last longer this way.


Mechanically it's a buff.

Coupled with the substantial buff on a barb attack roll (goes up to master, gets expert quite faster)

It's a solid buff all around.

As for being random, aesthetically I like it. But I can also see why some people dislike it as well.

So maybe a mention that a barb can choose one or the other would be best.

The one issue, now that dpr is fixed, I have with barbarian is all those form shifting rage powers simply don't work, neither narrative nor mechanically, with 10seconds rage duration.

So, giving those powers a bit extra staying power, even if it's just 1 minute, would perfectly fix barbarian for me.


Yeah I could get behind making some of the Barbs rage abilities duration last well and beyond the actual duration of there rage.


Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

I would definitely choose option 3. Rage cycling feels clunky and having it last a very small number of rounds only makes it feel that much more awkward.

Barbarian Class Feats should be something that impact them all of the time, possibly with some minor additional bonuses while raging. While the rage itself should focus on providing additional resilience and damage to the Barbarian at the cost of Accuracy and Evasion.

The only real 'Rage Powers' that I've enjoyed in the past have been the rage style feats, to offer ways of mitigating some of the penalties at the cost of feats.


shroudb wrote:

Mechanically it's a buff.

Coupled with the substantial buff on a barb attack roll (goes up to master, gets expert quite faster)

It's a solid buff all around.

As for being random, aesthetically I like it. But I can also see why some people dislike it as well.

So maybe a mention that a barb can choose one or the other would be best.

The one issue, now that dpr is fixed, I have with barbarian is all those form shifting rage powers simply don't work, neither narrative nor mechanically, with 10seconds rage duration.

So, giving those powers a bit extra staying power, even if it's just 1 minute, would perfectly fix barbarian for me.

What if Rage lasted 3 rounds, but you had the opportunity to make a Fortitude save to extend with increasing difficulty? It seems more fitting than randomly losing your rage and it represents the barbarian carrying on gaining the rage benefits while his body is at extreme strain, it still adds the element of uncontrollable rage but it offers more consistency, fixes the current issue and allow plenty of options to tweak the ability and add new options.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
Yeah I could get behind making some of the Barbs rage abilities duration last well and beyond the actual duration of there rage.

I see why they want most rage powers to be only usable in full force when in a rage.

However, my suggestion would be have RAGE TRANSFORMATION powers be slightly different than RAGE powers. Rage Transformations remain in play even during the RAGE's fatigue rounds. If a barbarian completes a round of fatigue with a transformation power in effect, they have a few options. The next turn they can choose to fly into a full rage again, and the transformation will continue to apply to the rage. As an alternative, they can choose to maintain the transformation, but not fly into a fresh rage, however, the ramification is that they also maintain the fatigue for this new round. If they release the rage completely, including the fatigue, the transformation reverts. That particular transformation will not be available again for the barbarian until they have 10 minutes to refresh.

The implication being that the fatigue is a part of the rage cycle of anger and refreshes of second winds. They would be able to rage again after, but might have lost an option of a particular rage transformation power until they get to rest.

Most people probably wouldn't choose to remain fatigued, but there might be a reason to choose it if you are expecting a fresh batch of targets coming into view in likely one round, and so would rather start the battle with them with a fresh starting cycle. Otherwise, I'd imagine most would return right back into rage, and simply prepare to hulk smash, or otherwise use your rage power as planned.


Lightning Raven wrote:
shroudb wrote:

Mechanically it's a buff.

Coupled with the substantial buff on a barb attack roll (goes up to master, gets expert quite faster)

It's a solid buff all around.

As for being random, aesthetically I like it. But I can also see why some people dislike it as well.

So maybe a mention that a barb can choose one or the other would be best.

The one issue, now that dpr is fixed, I have with barbarian is all those form shifting rage powers simply don't work, neither narrative nor mechanically, with 10seconds rage duration.

So, giving those powers a bit extra staying power, even if it's just 1 minute, would perfectly fix barbarian for me.

What if Rage lasted 3 rounds, but you had the opportunity to make a Fortitude save to extend with increasing difficulty? It seems more fitting than randomly losing your rage and it represents the barbarian carrying on gaining the rage benefits while his body is at extreme strain, it still adds the element of uncontrollable rage but it offers more consistency, fixes the current issue and allow plenty of options to tweak the ability and add new options.

with barb now just 1 point behind in attack compared to fighter, i'm kinda scared of extending the rage for a too long of a duration.

a 3 rounds that can be extended reasonable to 5, is already pushing it imo.

if i had to give it a check after a set duration, i would start at 2 rounds and then build up.

and as i meantioned before, decouple transformation powers from rage duration altoghether.

with "frequency" being a common keyword in many feats, iand with 10mins being the golden standard it seems, i don't see why tranformation powers can't be "duration: 1minute, frequency 1/10minutes"

it would make much more sense than being a dragon for 9 seconds every 12 seconds...


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Quick poll of folks reading this thread...

Which would you prefer...

1. A rage that lasted the whole fight but was not as powerful.
2. A rage that lasted a variable or shorter amount of time but was more powerful.
3. A rage that lasted as long as you wanted it, but was mostly all about dealing more damage and a bigger cost to accuracy or defense

Not scientific... just kinda curious of the pulse of the folks reading this...

I think I'd like 2 the most. Although there may be some middle grounds from 3 and 2 that could work. For example, if the rage didn't give any ac penalty or temp hp when you use it, but for every turn you end in rage you gain fatigued X where x is the number of rounds you've been raging and con temp hp. This makes staying in rage for an entire fight very dangerous, as after a couple of rounds you're very vulnerable. And still conveniently has a cool off round where you're fatigued.

With a risky trade off like this rage could still be a powerful ability, but you have a lot of control of how far to take.


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Personally, I thought up the following system:

  • A barbarian can Rage for 3 rounds with no penalties
  • Every round past the 3rd round, the Barbarian deals scaling lethal damage to themselves to stay in Rage (the exact numbers and scaling would be balanced, but exponential scaling would act as a soft limiter - something like 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 ...)
  • After the rage ends, you are fatigued for 1 round.

    I doubt Paizo would implement it, but (A) it gives the player a choice over how long they keep raging, (B) it creates a tradeoff between keeping your rage going and (eventually) taking an unsustainable amount of damage, and (C) I like the flavor of a character that can literally push themselves past what their body can handle.

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